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Forestry officials temporarily lifted the statewide ban on open burning Jan. 2, but Brunswick County Fire Marshal Scott Garner has not rescinded the local ban.
The countywide ban on open burning prohibits open burning within 100 feet of an occupied dwelling.
“Although the area received some rain over the recent past, North Carolina remains in a severe drought, which has created dry, hazardous conditions, which has prompted a red flag warning to be issued by the National Weather Service for most of the state,” Garner stated in a press release.
“A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will occur shortly. The combination of strong winds and low relative humidity will enhance the wildfire growth potential. Any fires that occur may quickly burn out of control.”
Although this ban does not apply to recreational fires such as charcoal or propane grilling, Garner urges citizens to be extremely cautious with any type of outdoor fire.
Citizens are also advised to be cautious when smoking outdoors, and to dispose of cigarettes in the proper manner.
According to a press release from Gov. Mike Easley’s office, the department of environmental and natural resources and its division of forest resources will continue to monitor conditions to determine if the burn ban will be reinstated.
If the potential for wildfire activity increases due to below-normal rainfall coupled with above-average temperatures, the ban on open burning could be reinstated, the release states.
The ban on open burning was imposed Oct. 15 because of dry weather and depleted water resources across the state.
For more information, contact the Brunswick County Fire Marshal’s Office at 253-4376.